A Note from the USTA on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act


Please help support the Michigan harness racing industry by contacting our two U.S. Senators from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow (member of Agriculture Committee) and Gary Peters, to voice your opposition to the federal Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), S. 4547.

There was no standardbred input when this legislation was drafted by a small group of elite thoroughbred interests.  The USTA has made several attempts to negotiate an amendment to the bill, which would address breed differences and different performance models in harness vs. thoroughbred.  These efforts have been constantly ignored, and the USTA has been informed that there will be absolutely no changes prior to the floor vote in the Senate, which is anticipated will take place the week of November 9.

The word “integrity” makes the legislation sound great; however, the devil is in the details.  Among the many negatives in the bill, it would phase out the use of race-day Lasix (the only proven medication to prevent exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage), create additional costs to horsemen (disproportionately to the standardbred side), and provide no investigative powers.  The United States Trotting Association has secured a legal opinion that there are also several issues with the constitutionality of the bill.  See the USTA website, www.ustrotting.com, for further explanation of the legislation and the USTA’s opposition.

Since we only have standardbred harness racing in Michigan, our Senators should be voting to preserve our industry.  Tell them you are a member of the Michigan horse racing industry; you can give more details of your involvement and reasoning for opposition if you wish.  Ask Senator Stabenow and Senator Peters to vote “NO” on S. 4547 (HISA).

Senator Debbie Stabenow – www.stabenow.senate.gov/contact, 202-224-4822

Senator Gary Peters – www.peters.senate.gov/contactemail-gary, 202-224-6221